Accept the Call

Accept the Call

January 20, 2020


Eunice Lau

A Somali father in Minnesota seeks to understand why his American son tried to join the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria.


About the Documentary

Twenty-five years after Yusuf Abdurahman left Somalia as a refugee to begin his life anew in Minnesota — which has the largest population of Somalis in the United States — his worst fear is realized when his 19-year-old-son Zacharia is arrested in an FBI counterterrorism sting operation. 

Through the eyes of an anguished father desperate to understand why his young son would leave his American life behind to attempt to join the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria, Accept the Call vividly explores racism and prejudice against immigrants, the rise of targeted recruitment by radicalized groups, and the struggles of Muslim youth growing up in the US today. This intimate film captures the story of a father and son attempting to mend their relationship, after breaking each other’s hearts, showing how a parent’s worry for their children is a universal predisposition. 

The Filmmakers

Eunice Lau

Eunice Lau has directed and produced several award-winning shorts and documentaries, including Through the Fire, which was nominated for Best Short Documentary at AMPAS Student Academy in 2013. A former international journalist at Al Jazeera Network, she has a penchant for telling stories concerning social justice, from dowry-killing in Bangladesh to uncovering corruption in Sarawak that decimated forests in Borneo. Originally from Singapore, Eunice has a master’s in film directing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and a bachelor’s in politics, philosophy, and economics from the University of York. Her works are supported by Chicken & Egg Pictures, ITVS Diversity Development Fund, Tribeca Film Institute, YouTube Impact Lab, and the Spike Lee Production Grant.

Full Credits


  • Woodstock Film Festival

    Best Documentary and Best Editing (Nomination)

  • Coven Film Festival

    Audience Award

Learn more about the documentary

Join the Discussion

Thinking about Yusuf's situation, have you ever worried about your kids joining an extremist group or getting into a dangerous situation?